Hidden Costs of DaaS Service? Know What to Look For

August 19th, 2015 by admin

Stylized depiction of a clipboard with a checklist on it, with 2 check marks and an 'X'

Back in July, we talked about the emergence of Cloud-based Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS). From overall cost to scalability, mobility, and security, more IT decision-makers are recognizing DaaS as simply a better alternative to traditional networks of standalone computers.

As with any other new technology, however, there can be a steep learning curve involved. While quite a few vendors are hopping on the bandwagon and offering contracted DaaS services like selling a new car or a cell phone, many just aren't adept at explaining the contract's fine print—or even the real meaning of the big print. Too many first-time customers are left to "learn the hard way" about sneaky fees.

Before locking your company into a DaaS commitment, here are a few major items to do your homework on:

Semi-Private Cloud or Public Cloud. A DaaS platform can be hosted on two types of Clouds. A semi-private Cloud divides operations between Cloud infrastructure hosted remotely and some server hardware installed at the client's onsite data center. In many cases, the provider may bear the initial cost of designing and setting up the onsite equipment, but impose higher costs over the long term via monthly hardware rental fees.

Public Clouds are hosted entirely off-site and offer direct "turnkey" DaaS services without any onsite data center equipment. They are particularly effective at providing full desktop access for mobile workers, quick desktop setup of new or temporary employees, and hassle-free disaster recovery.

Licensing Fees. Third-party providers merely serve as "middlemen" for DaaS platform products from the big-name vendors, who pass along their costly licensing fees to their end customers. When that's the case, ask what specific "value-adds" their service includes.

Service Tiers. Many providers divide their DaaS service into different levels along the lines of "standard," "gold," or "platinum." Each offers progressively greater per-user bandwidth and storage capabilities. Make sure you choose the best package for your company, without any hidden fees for switching to a more appropriate tier—up or down.

Long-Term Commitment. The flexible, pay-as-you go nature of the Cloud has been a real advantage, especially for smaller businesses. Yet, as with cell phones, many vendors still try to lock customers into annual contracts. Avoid unfavorable contract terms if you can.

Minimum Number of Desktops. Some vendors require a minimum quantity of daily users in their service agreements—with harsh monthly penalties for dropping below that number. Don't let this added expense hang over your business's head if your workforce shrinks when times get tough.

As managed DaaS services become the new standard for businesses of all sizes, we expect it to become a customer-driven market. Know where you'll find the best deal for both price and service. Need help? Just get in touch.

Posted in: Hardware and Software